With 1.13 billion daily active users engaging on the platform, Facebook has become an obvious option for marketers looking to explore the benefits of targeted ad creation.
And while Facebook’s targeting options make it easier for you to get your posts and ads in front of the people you really care about, it’s ultimately up to you to do the convincing. To do that, you’ll need to pay close attention to the details.
The Basis of a Clickable Facebook Ad Headline
If you want to make your Ad more personal and engaging, customize the headline.
Situated just below your featured image, the headline can often be the last thing Facebook users read in order to understand exactly what you’re offering. In other words, a lack of headline contributes to an overall lack of clarity (which we’ll discuss next).
Here’s an example from The New Yorker to help illustrate what we mean here:
With Facebook users publishing over 3 million posts every minute, you must strive for a level of headline clarity that isn’t easily glossed over.
For example, check out the following headline from Blue Apron, which makes the “what” (Blue Apron) and “why” ($40 discount) crystal clear:
To echo the previous guideline, you should aim to keep your Facebook Ad headline short, sweet, and to the point. Facebook recommends that Ad headlines fall between 25-40 characters in length to maximize engagement, so your focus should be on creating something that is easily understood and value-oriented.
This short headline from Maven is a great example of “less is more”:
In this example, they’ve made the offer very clear to ensure that Facebook users fully understand that they will have access to nutritionists if they click on the Ad.
This example from Frontier also highlights the power of short and sweet Facebook Ad headlines:
More specifically, this particular example demonstrates how to get to the point in the headline, while leveraging the image to do the rest of the talking.
How to Write Better Headlines for Your Facebook Ads: 5 Formulas to Try
1) Ask a question.
A headline in the form of a question is a great way to grab a Facebook user’s attention and draw them in to get the answer.
In fact, research from Social Influence about declarative-statement headlines found that headlines in the form of questions received 150% more clicks than statement headlines. Not to mention, these questioning headlines received 175% more clicks if the question included the word “you.”
Moral of the story? If you know what questions your target audience is asking, use those questions to encourage engagement with your Facebook Ads. For example, Brilliant Earth asked a question — “Dreaming of the perfect ring?” — that makes their target audience (future brides and grooms) want to know more:
The short copy quickly makes it crystal clear why Facebook users should shop with them: They sell the “perfect” ring. They also used the positive superlative “perfect,” which CoSchedule suggest using as a way to drive urgency in your headline messaging.
2) Give a command.
When crafting an effective Facebook Ad headline, start by communicating the command or action you want people to take upfront. Then, rely on additional Ad elements — image, descriptions, and so on — to paint the rest of the picture. This will help you keep things clear, concise, and actionable, while still being compelling.
3) List a benefit.
Another strong technique for Facebook Ad headlines is showing users how the offer benefits them.
If you’ve been reading our blog for some time now, you know that the “always be closing” sales era has given way to “always be helping.” In other words, people don’t want to be sold to aggressively anymore, and according to Entrepreneur, a headline that clearly states how your offer will benefit the audience is a better way to drive clicks and conversions than listing the features.
4) Inspire curiosity.
Social media platforms and print newspapers alike are full of headlines that make you want to learn more, and these headlines take advantage of the curiosity gap.
What’s that? According to George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University, this concept refers to the gap between “what we know and what we don’t know.”
His theory is that when we are exposed to a gap in our knowledge, we feel the urge to fill in that gap with new information. Another experiment testing his theory found that curiosity activates the reward-seeking parts of our brain, making it an effective strategy to apply to Facebook Ad headlines. Why? Because it’s almost painful for us to learn that there’s something we don’t know until we resolve it by learning new information.
The lesson? Choose an Ad headline that teases the content you’re linking to on your website. This approach can help you inspire curiosity and earn your campaign clicks. For example, BuzzFeed’s headline does a great job of generating interest in a topic that many in their audience are probably interested in without reading like “clickbait”:
5) Leverage lists.
People love lists. According to Maria Konnikova, the listicle has exploded into such a popular content medium due to the way our brains work: when we see information, our brains immediately try to process it, and numbers help break up the masses of written content we see on social media every day.
According to one study, numbered lists make it easier for us to categorize and draw on differences between data, which ultimately helps us process it more quickly.
Content courtesy of HubSpot Marketing